Six Flags 5K Coaster Challenge for Special Olympics

I am always looking for ways to help charity, and my friend Eric just brought this to my attention a couple of days ago. It is like your typical 5K, except that instead of doing 3.1 miles of running, I have to ride 3.1 miles of rollercoaster (it worked out perfect for Eric, cause he is injured and not allowed to run right now anyhow). I only get to participate if I raise the minimum though, and it all goes towards the Special Olympics.
The event is this Sunday, so I do not have much time to raise the money, but every little bit counts.

 

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Ways to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

I have wanted to post this since the Hurricane occurred, especially as I sat back and watched my friends from Texas post pictures of the flooding and damage.  I was watching every one of my friends through it all, and my heart was clenched thinking about the friends that live there that I have lost contact with.  It is natural to want to help in these situations, especially as Jedi, so here is everything I can find with how to help.  I will add if/when I find more.

  • Charity Navigator – A good place to start when looking for any charity.  Not necessarily a complete list, especially for charity efforts that are created for natural disasters.
  1. DONATE TO THE TEXAS DIAPER BANK. – The Texas Diaper Bank is requesting money and diaper donations to provide displaced families with emergency diaper kits. (Diapers often aren’t provided by disaster relief agencies.) Visit their donation page here.
  2. LIST YOUR HOME ON AIRBNB. – Airbnb has waived service fees for evacuees who check in before September 1, 2017, and the site is also connecting people in need with volunteer hosts. Find a place to stay, or offer your space for free here.
  3. LEND YOUR TIME, MONEY, AND EXTRA PET SUPPLIES TO RESCUE ANIMALS.Austin Pets Alive—which has rescued hundreds of abandoned and shelter pets from flood-stricken areas—currently needs money, dog and cat fosters able to keep animals through adoption, and supplies like cat litter, large plastic or metal bins, and liquid laundry soap. For more information, click here.Other animal groups in need include the SPCA of Texas, Dallas Animal Services, and the San Antonio Humane Society.
  4. DONATE TO A LOCAL FOOD BANK. – The Galveston County Food Bank, the Houston Food Bank, and the Corpus Christi Food Bank all accept online donations.
  5. GIVE BLOOD. – Hospitals in Texas are reportedly facing blood shortages. If you’re local, the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center and Carter BloodCare are seeking blood donations.
  6. DONATE TO THE SALVATION ARMY. – The Salvation Army will offer both immediate and long-term disaster relief for Hurricane Harvey victims. Make a single donation here, or arrange to make a recurring monthly donation.
  7. BROWSE GOFUNDME FOR CREATIVE WAYS TO DONATE. – Help out families, charities, animals, relief organizations, and other small groups by visiting GoFundMe’s Hurricane Harvey Relief page and donating to a fundraising campaign.
  8. HELP OUT DISASTER RESPONSE GROUP PORTLIGHT. – Disaster response organization Portlight provides medical equipment, shelter, and evacuation assistance to people with disabilities. Find out how you can help here.
  9. BUY A COLORING BOOK. – Contribute to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund for libraries damaged by the storm. Donate here, or purchase a TLA coloring book instead. A set of two costs $10, and all proceeds benefit the relief fund.
  10. GIVE MONEY TO THE RED CROSS. – Text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also visit redcross.org, or call 1- 800-RED CROSS.

10 Ways You Can Help Hurricane Harvey Victims from Mental Floss

 

If you are in Texas (or, I suppose, have the ability and desire to go there):

  • Donate blood: The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center desperately needs more than 2,000 units of blood. The biggest need is for O positive and O negative. A list of locations to donate blood can be found here.
  • Donate food and clothing: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is asking people to donate clothing, medical supplies, baby items, and food to nearby shelters. Feeding Texas is coordinating with local food banks to distribute food and cleaning supplies. The organization is asking people to drop off non-perishable food, bleach, and paper towels. The Texas Diaper Bank is seeking diaper donations. You can mail them to 5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, Texas 78238 or drop them off at the same address.
  • Help with clean up: Austin Disaster Relief Network is asking for toiletries, inflatable mattresses, undergarments, and cleaning tools. They can be dropped off at the Hope Family Thrift Store in Austin. Volunteers can also sign up for cleaning efforts there. The Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group needs construction cleanup supplies — debris containers, truck cranes, forklifts, ladders, and nail guns.
  • Donate toys and supplies: Mayor Turner said many children inside the shelters need “things to do” and is asking people to donate coloring books, puzzles, and other toys to the shelters.

From CNN

 

 

 

 

 

Be More Charitable

An updated version of this post can be found in the drop down menu at the top of the page under “Be More Series.”  It will continue to be updated as information is uncovered in that location, but will remain the same here.

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Helping others, center of a Jedi’s world.  Some people can donate money, some people can donate time, it does not matter what you can and cannot give, as long as you are making an effort to better the world.

First, let’s be honest, we are all Star Wars fans.  Unless there are a few Jedi out there who are not fans of the movie that I do not know about, which do not get me wrong, would be pretty cool if we have transcended the fandom, but to my knowledge and recollection, we have not yet done so.  I know several Jedi have Jedi COSTUMES (of varying degrees of quality), but for those who enjoy the costuming side of things, there are groups for that!

  • Jedi Assembly – A group for Jedi costumes only.
  • Mando Mercs – A group for custom Mandalorian costumes.
  • Dark Empire – A group for dark side costumes only.
  • Rebel Legion – One of the two largest groups, RL caters to all canon/legacy good guys, as well as those questionable in between characters.
  • 501st Legion – The big one.  This is the largest of probably ALL costuming groups, having around 10k members across the globe, and is my preferred group for doing “troops.”  The 501st accepts all canon/legacy bad guys, and also the questionable in between characters.  Their motto is “Bad Guys Doing Good.”

If you want to use your costume to raise money for charity, I HIGHLY recommend not doing it yourself, but joining one of these groups.  These are groups that are recognized by LFL/Disney, and have permission to do so as long as they follow the guidelines set in place by Disney.  To do charitable events outside of one of these organizations puts yourself at risk for legal action, and all groups at risk for being shut down.  Trust me, as a member of most of these groups, there is red tape.

Links

  • Free Rice – This site asks you questions in various subjects, and for every correct answer, the World Food Programme donates 10 grains of rice to the global cause.  Learning and Charity tied together.
  • Tab for a Cause – “Raise money for charity with each new tab you open.”
  • Charity Navigator – A place to look up more information about charities
  • Guide Star – Another information site

Apps

  • Charity Miles – If you do any walking, running, or biking, this app is great.  You choose a charity from their list and go.  The donate $.25 per mile to your chosen charity. Android | iOS
  • Give 2 Charity – Tracks your location to earn points.  Use points to donate to charity. Android | iOS
  • Tinbox – Donate $1 per day, paid for by sponsers. Android | iOS
  • Check-in for Good – “a free crowdfunding app that turns your everyday actions into donations for the causes you care about” Android | iOS

Donate Items
As I just recently moved this year, and am planning a cross country move in about seven months, I am having a hard lesson in the subject of downsizing.  I have been going through all of my belongings, and slowly putting aside items I do not need.  Some of these items are junk and end up in the trash, but a lot of these items are still good.  If you have the time, space, and energy, you could hold a garage sale.  The other option is donating your items, and there are several organizations with which you can do so.  Below are, from my perspective where I live, the top three, however a search in your local area could yield further results, but these three are fairly prevelant in the US.